Pregnant deaths in the U.S. surge in first year of coronavirus pandemic

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The average mortality rate increased by 16%, and the maternal mortality rate increased by 18.4%.

In 2020, the U.S. death rate rose 16%, but the mortality rate for pregnant women was higher at 18.4%. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the death rate for pregnant women in the United States rose sharply, a study found. According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the U.S. mortality rate increased by 16% overall in 2020, but the mortality rate for pregnant women surpassed that figure by 18.4%. This is the content reported on the 4th (local time) by ‘Health Day’, a US health medicine webzine, on a research paper by an American researcher who analyzed this in detail and published it in the JAMA Network Open.

Marie Thomas, a professor of family science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and Eugene Deklerk, a professor of health science at Boston University, compared maternal mortality rates between March 2018 and March 2020 and April-December 2020, when the pandemic began in the United States. . As a result, the maternal mortality rate was about 33% and the late maternal mortality rate was about 41%, showing a sharp increase. In particular, for black women, the already quite high rate increased by 40%, and for Hispanic women, the previously low rate increased by 74%.

“This is higher than the overall excess mortality rate for 2020,” Thomas said. “For the first time in more than a decade, the maternal mortality rate among Hispanic women is higher than that of white non-Hispanic women,” said Professor Declerk.

In fact, the secondary cause of death in 15% of pregnant women who died in the nine months of 2020 was recorded as coronavirus. In terms of race, it corresponds to 32% of Hispanics, 13% of blacks, and 7% of whites.

Most of the increase in maternal deaths was linked to respiratory or viral infections related to COVID-19 or to diabetes and heart disease exacerbated by the coronavirus. The researchers believe that there may be undetected risk factors due to delayed prenatal care during the epidemic. Professor Toma said, “The situation can be improved as vaccinations are implemented in 2021 and postpartum care for mothers has been expanded through health insurance reform,” he said.

The paper can be found at the following link (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2793640).

By Han Gun-pil, reporter [email protected]

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